South Korea’s Dexter Studios and Wanda Pictures, the film production division of China’s Wanda Group, are set to co-produce big-budget sci-fi film Kung Fu Robot.
JK Youn, Korean director and producer of hits such as Haeundae and Ode To My Father, is attached to direct.
Youn’s company JK Film is also attached to co-produce, while CJ Entertainment is investing and distributing in Korea.
Taking place in the near future, the Chinese-language film is a set to be a humanistic sci-fi comedy about what happens when a cleaning robot starts to learn kung-fu. The project has been two years in development and pre-production and is aiming to start shooting this year.
Founded by hit director Kim Yong-hwa (Take Off, 200 Pounds Beauty), Dexter Studios is known for baseball player gorilla film Mr Go (2013) – Korea’s first film to be shot fully in 3D, which Kim produced and directed.
Since its early days, the company has been working on VFX for several Chinese productions. Credits include Donnie Yen-starrer The Monkey King and Tsui Hark’s The Taking Of Tiger Mountain 3D, for which Dexter’s Kim Wook picked up Best VFX at the 2015 Golden Horse Awards in Taipei.
Last April, Dexter Studios received $10m investment from Wanda Group, which has been growing its entertainment business in recent years with holdings that include the Wanda Cinema Line in China, AMC Theatres in the US, Hoyts Cinemas in Australia and the $3.5bn acquisition of Legendary Pictures in January.
CJ Entertainment and Wanda are planning a launch event for Kung Fu Robot on June 12 at the Shanghai International Film Festival.